Walking into the showroom, I was faced with gleaming streamlined utes, overwhelmingly large Sport Cats, and an unassuming line-up of sedans that sat quietly, waiting to be noticed. And notice I did. Sleek styling, 18" wheels, twin rear exhaust and smooth, modern lines - the Commodore was about as far from my mind's eye as you could get. And yet, this was going to be our vehicle for the weekend. To say I was a little excited would be an understatement.
Our dealer put a lot of thought into which model to lend us. Being a family of four with younger children, he chose the RS model, a 2.0L Turbo with nine-speed auto, but amped it up with the optional 3.6L V6 with adaptive all-wheel drive. If you do any amount of driving in Tasmania, I think the comfort and security of all-wheel drive on our roads in our conditions is almost essential. As we hit the road, the European styling gives way to true Aussie performance. In the city, we had the benefit of all of the safety features you would expect in a modern vehicle, including forward collision alert, following distance indicator and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection. But it was out on the open road that the Commodore really came into its own. The time Holden has put into tweaking the handling for Australian conditions shows. Heading up the east coast, the lightly weighted steering handled the corners with ease, and I felt very comfortable and stable even on the trickiest sections.
My last word on the Commodore would be if you're looking for a car that drives well on Tasmanian roads in our ever-changing weather conditions, has loads of safety features (and a five-star ANCAP safety rating) and looks extremely stylish, then you should give the RS a go. I would definitely get the V6 version. While it's a little heavier on fuel, it more than makes up for this in performance. From $42,490 drive away, it blows away the European brands on price.